Diebold to Buy German ATM Maker - Diebold is moving forward with previously discussed plans to acquire one of its largest competitors, Wincor Nixdorf. If a deal is completed, the new company—to be called Diebold Nixdorf—will be the world’s largest maker of automatic-teller machines. Diebold and Wincor Nixdorf ended months of speculation Monday when the companies announced a business combination agreement valued at $1.8 billion. Early next year, Diebold will launch a voluntary tender offer of cash and Diebold stock for Wincor Nixdorf’s shares. The companies hope to complete the deal sometime during the summer. A combined company will have annual revenue of $5.2 billion and nearly 1 million ATMs installed around the world. Plans are for Diebold Nixdorf to be based in Green while maintaining a presence in Paderborn, which is in northwestern Germany. Andy W. Mattes, who has led Diebold as president and chief executive officer since June 2013, will be CEO of the combined company, while Diebold’s top financial manager, Christopher C. Chapman, will be chief financial officer. Diebold and Wincor Nixdorf have ranked as the world’s second- and third-largest ATM companies, trailing NCR. Diebold ranked as the largest ATM company in North America, while Wincor Nixdorf was second, behind NCR, in Europe. If the two companies combine, they will be market leaders in North America and Europe. The two regions have driven innovation and digital transformation in banking and retail markets, Diebold said in its release. In the announcement, Mattes said the new company “will be well positioned for growth in high-value services and software.” To read more about the announcement, click on this Canton Repository article. To learn more about the merger, go to the Diebold website.

Crestline Hotels to Develop Upscale Hotel at Hall of Fame Village - Crestline Hotels and Resorts, a company that provides management services to some of the nation's largest hotel chains, will help develop and manage the hotel planned for Hall of Fame Village in Canton, Ohio. Officials with the Pro Football Hall of Fame and project master developer Industrial Realty Group made the announcement Dec. 1. The Virginia-based Crestline Hotels and Resorts manages 98 hotels in 27 states and Washington, D.C., according to a company fact sheet. Its properties include Hilton, Hyatt, Starwood, Marriott, IHG and independent hotels. The national brand of the hotel on the Hall of Fame Village campus will be released within months. Canton’s property is expected to have about 250 rooms and suites with a football theme. Pete Fierle, spokesman for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, said discussions include the possibility of creating a suite for each NFL team and the NFL commissioner. A restaurant or bar likely will be included at the full-service hotel, Fierle said, but no more information was available as of Dec. 1. The $100 million facility will break ground in fall 2016 and is expected to open in summer 2018. Construction on the eight-part, $476 million Hall of Fame Village began this fall with the demolition of a portion of what is now Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. To read more about the Crestline Hotel announcement, click on this Canton Repository article. Learn more about the Pro Football Hall of Fame Village.

Chesapeake Energy to Increase Production After Tough Quarter – With a new pipeline operating in Ohio and better seasonal prices for natural-gas liquids like propane, Chesapeake Energy is no longer holding back Utica Shale production. “That asset hit production records last week and continues to hit it out of the park,” said M. Christopher Doyle, the executive vice president responsible for the company’s Utica operations during a conference call Wednesday. Chesapeake has drilled 679 Utica wells in Ohio, the most of any company. It has a strong presence in Carroll, Harrison and Columbiana counties. The company voluntarily cut Utica production by 15 percent—20,000 net barrels of oil equivalent per day—in the third quarter because of weak oil and natural gas prices. It ended the quarter producing 106,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. But Chesapeake expects to connect soon to Spectra Energy’s OPEN regional pipeline. That will allow Chesapeake to move an additional 350 million cubic feet of natural gas per day out of the Utica and sell it for higher prices. Chesapeake’s break-even point in the Utica is $2.50 per thousand cubic feet for dry gas and a few cents higher for wet gas. The NYMEX benchmark Wednesday was at $2.30 per thousand cubic feet. Chesapeake is drilling longer and more expensive Utica wells this year. Average well costs are $7.7 million with an average lateral length of 7,900 feet and 40 frack stages. The average well in 2014 cost $7.2 million and had a lateral length of 6,200 feet and 29 frack stages. During the third quarter, Chesapeake drilled a Utica well with a record lateral length of 12,976 feet. The company averaged two rigs in the play and expects to keep that number through the end of the year. A rig can drill a new well in just under 10 days. To read more about Chesapeake’s planned production, click on this Canton Repository article.

Malone University Receives National Science Foundation Grant – The National Science Foundation granted Malone University an award that will both advance scientific research in Ohio and later be shared with similar institutions throughout the nation. Jason Courter, assistant professor of biology, and IT personnel Shawn Campbell, Jim Shaffer and Adam Klemann, received $320,000 to fund a two-year project that launched Nov. 1. The grant allows for data switching improvements in the Timken Science building, the configuration of ‘ScienceDMZ,’ and a high speed ‘Data Transfer Node’ on campus, as well as access to Internet2 which connects Malone to national tier 1 research institutions such as Case Western Reserve University and The Ohio State University. “The infrastructure we will be able to put in place over the next year removes limitations and will allow our faculty to ‘dream bigger’,” said Jim Shaffer, senior network engineer. “It will open new doors for Malone, giving us access to data and resources that we can’t even imagine right now.” The grant sets a framework for interdisciplinary collaboration and provides hands-on training for students. To learn more about Malone’s NSF grant, click on Malone’s press release.

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